“How can we encourage every single person in our congregation to think about Jesus every single day?”
That was the question the church leadership at St. Paul’s, Plymouth, Neb., started asking themselves after hearing a presentation about the importance of corporate Bible study, such as on Sunday mornings. While they felt this weekly study is important, they thought it wasn’t enough.
“What’s even more important than Sunday morning Bible study? It’s being in the Word every single day,” says Fred Berger, pastor at St. Paul’s. “If you’re coming to church every Sunday but that’s all you’re doing to feed your faith, you’re spiritually starving yourself.”
To help St. Paul’s members dig into God’s Word daily, leadership decided to purchase a devotion book for each of the congregation’s 366 communicant members to read in 2024. They chose 364 Days of Devotion by WELS Pastor Andrew Schroer. They worked with Northwestern Publishing House to get permission to e-mail or text the devotions in the book daily to members, depending on how each member consumes media.
St. Paul’s elders; Berger; Justin Dauck, St. Paul’s other pastor; and Deb Wells, the church’s secretary, called all the members to find out their preferences—and to encourage them to participate. Books were then personalized and included a reading schedule. Members could also pay for additional books so others outside the congregation could join in.
Berger says he hopes members will be talking about the devotions when they see each other at work, the gas station, and the local coffee shop during the week or at church on Sunday.
The cost of the program wasn’t cheap, but Berger says it will be worth it.
“We’re most excited about every single member being in the Word of God every single day this year,” he says. “We know the Spirit is going to be working through that to strengthen their faith in Jesus.”
Volume: 111, Number 01
Issue: January 2024